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HR Cap Testimonial

Posted By: blakeb
Date: Monday, 18 June 2007, at 4:44 p.m.

I thought I would start a thread talking about how integrating a HR cap into my training has really made a difference. I have talked with many who are skeptical about the benefits that come with this type of training and all i can say is they just need to try it.

About 4 weeks ago I started working with Luis Vargas, for those of you who don't know him, he is Mark Allen's wingman over at www.markallenonline.com

Anyway, we established a HR cap of 163 for about 95% of my training(I should mention that I am 25 and have a high volume background for the last 4-5yrs). The ONLY time that I go above of this zone is on interval days. When I do go above it, I go WAY above it.

Here are some thoughts that I would like to share:

+ This type of training seems to eliminate the 'grey zone' that so many fall into. For me that 'grey zone' might be close to 164-178. I either stay below those numbers, or I go above it.

+ Riding with a cap is FASTER than riding without it, period. Example: I had a race sim. type day on Sat. with a 4500 open water swim, followed by a 180k ride and run off the bike. I decided on the IMWI course and split 5:18:xx on 243w. I have ridden that course at a higher wattage in the past, but my time was significantly slower. Riding with a cap makes you a little slower on the extended climbs, but as soon as I hit the crest, you can keep the pressure on the pedals...you don't need any recovery time.

+ You can ride the flats as hard as you want...seriously, you can. If you think this type of training is easy, think again. Instead of just trying to stay under the HR ceiling, try to also stay above the floor...NO_matter_what. It can be challenging.

+ It is also challenging to stay under that cap, especially in this heat that we have been having...you have to check your ego before you head out the door. However, most already know this.

+ This could be the biggest benefit to the HR cap. It allows you to recovery from day to day. You can consistently do more steady/quality day in and day out. It seems that my downfall in past years, were all of the small periods of time in almost every ride where I visited that 'grey zone.'

+ You can go FOREVER with the cap...just keep yourself fueled properly and you can ride all day.

The info above is not based off of any studdies, just what I have been able to take from my training over the last 4 weeks. The HR Cap is where it's at, PERIOD!


+ I have raced 1 time since starting this training and saw a 4% increase in power at the half IM distance. To go with it, I probably had my best half ironman run to date off that ride. Previous PB wattage was 268, new PB is 279. I can't wait to see what happens after a few more months of this type of training.

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